Alicia Silverstone is attracting attention to the plight of a Russian protest band by demanding that a member of the group be served vegan meals in jail.
The 35-year-old actress and healthy living/animal rights activist
wrote a letter on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to consider her request.
"I have been following the trial involving three members of the band Pussy Riot," she writes to Putin. "As a vegan myself, I was deeply concerned to learn that one of the women, Maria Alekhina, who is a vegan, reportedly collapsed from hunger during a court session. I respectfully request you to ensure that vegan meals are available to Ms. Alekhina — and all prisoners.
"Regardless of the trial and its outcome, I’m sure you can agree that everyone has the right to show compassion and refrain from harming animals by being vegan. May I please have your assurance that Ms. Alekhina will have access to vegan foods? Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent matter."
The three band members were arrested after a "punk prayer service" in February (a video can be seen here
) disturbed church-goers and included such anti-government rhetoric as “Holy Mother, send Putin packing!"
The women, who face up to three years in prison on charges of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred," have gained worldwide support from groups such as Amnesty International — as well as additional celebrity backing from Madonna and Bjork.